Well this week has been an odd one. A veritable roller coaster ride of intense highs and lows. We had much joy with the speedy sale of our house, some homeschool fun with nature walks and the letter A, excited plans for the future. Then there were the lows, dealing with a deceitful person which ultimately led to the falling through of our hoped for hobby farm, the bitter sweet remembrance of my Mum on her birthday (though I’d say as much joy as sad on that one), some overall ‘what do we do now?’ panic and the joy of a teething toddler who just. won’t. stop. It’s a really good job he’s cute.
Trying to craft a sensible homeschool week in the middle of all that has definitely been a toughy and I really can’t claim a massive heap of success. I’ll focus on the bits that did go well first because, well, it’s just a lot more cheerful really.
This week we did a bit of focus on the letter A. This wasn’t a very strict thing but I read some stories which had the A shape in there (a fairy tale and a fable from Oak Meadow and Earthschooling respectively), as well as some crafts. My favourite one was when we made the letter A out of bread dough. I was baking anyway so I simply gave Huwyl some dough, a baking sheet and a small bit of advice (try rolling it into sausages) and he did a great job! We baked it and he then proceeded to eat a large amount of it with butter and jam. The best way I can think of to ingest the alphabet!
We also did a nice nature walk this week (between the rainy days) and spent an hour in the woods observing and collecting. It was relaxing to be able to let the boys run and be as loud as they wanted, it never fails to remind me that the natural environment for bouncy kids like mine is outside. Huwyl collected many different leaves and some acorn caps (I have plans for them, oh yes) and loved chatting with our fellow nature seekers along the trail.
As we went along he made a trail with his feet that I commented looked like a dragon trail. From then on the dragon story emerged and the leaves became scales that had been shed by the golden dragon as she walked through the forest. Some had even been knocked off when she fought a bad dragon, but she killed it and we even discovered some of his charred bones. It was lucky Huwyl was there as to my untrained eye they looked like simple leaves and sticks. How silly my adult eyes are.
Neirin of course loves to copy his big brother and went diving off into the woods to bring me bits of leaf or twig. He seemed very happy with his contribution and loved the chance to move his body freely in the open air, like me he seemed to be enjoying the cooler day, the lack of insects and the sweet/sour smell of the forest floor. Watching the two brothers running and laughing together really lifted my spirits and I realised again how lucky I am to have two such boys with a great appetite for life.
Music has continued to be a part of our life this week. Huwyl’s enthusiasm for the keyboard has been undiminished and my no.1 moment of the week was when Huwyl was practising on his keyboard and Neirin was playing on the crocodile keyboard beside him. Just lovely. Though there are plenty of moments in the day that seem to indicate otherwise I really do feel there is a strong bond between these two boys that will carry them through their lives, just as my relationship with my own sister has been a source of love and strength to me.
But it hasn’t all been highlights. The process of negotiating for the hobby farm, realising the owner is quite possibly a loon, confirming that yes, he is a loon and had begun lying to us, led us to the tough decision that this was not going to work out. Stephen did a stirling job of remaining calm and clear during this process (I can make no such claim and used many, many….many bad words) but it became impossible to continue and we had to withdraw. Though we are both happy that this is absolutely the right choice it was not made without regret or sadness on our part. Couple this with a teething toddler who is prone to tantrums and favours pulling my hair when I try and stop him banging his head on the floor, by Thursday I was pretty much done.
Which leads me to my not so shining moment. After asking Huwyl to get his shoes on for what felt like the 4 millionth time (in reality it was probably at least 6 but still not quite into the millions) I lost my temper and shouted. Loudly. I said mean things and sent him to his room. Yes I feel great about it can’t you tell? It didn’t take long for me to realise I was being horrid and I apologised and he said some of the wisest words I can think of. As I tried to explain why I had been angry and lost my temper he said :
“Sometimes the angry just pushes you out of the way and comes out anyway.” I was literally floored, he had summed it up exactly. He went on to say “The bad words have to come out to make room for the good words.” That was when I started to cry. I literally put my head on his little five year old shoulder and sobbed. He cried too and we proved how related we are by declaring undying loved for one another through our tears. A chip off the old block indeed, but somehow wiser than I may ever be.
I’d like to say it was all uphill after that but in reality the day was a bit of a battle. But battle through we did and it was with relief I went off to my kickboxing class and beat the pads as hard as I could (thanks Em) and came home tired and spent. The morning rose bright and new and today was a better day.
We are moving forward with some concrete plans, some crazy dreams and a determination to make it through. As my Dad keeps telling me the Fates are at work. And if they are on our side we will achieve our wild and crazy dream, but more importantly we have on our side real flesh and blood family and friends who are willing to help support us in whatever way they can. Great good fortune indeed.
Wherever the wind takes us and whatever life throws at us we will be together, our little family with threads and ties to so many wonderful others in this life and the next. Sometimes we move forward in strides and sometimes we trip and fall, but there is always someone there to lend a hand and help us back up. And if all else fails I remember the family motto my sister has gifted to us: